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The Rachel Maddow Show

News/Business. (2010)

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John Boehner 18, Mr. Boehner 10, John Mccain 7, Sharron 7, Boehner 5, Virginia 5, America 4, Arizona 4, Meghan Mccain 4, Washington 4, Copenhagen 3, Msnbc 3, Sarah 3, Tom Perriello 3, Obama 3, Barry Goldwater 3, Mr. Steele 3, Gallup 3, Texas 2, Perriello 2,
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  MSNBC    The Rachel Maddow Show    News/Business.  (2010)  

    September 8, 2010
    11:00 - 12:00am EDT  

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order. two years and counting, ladies and gentlemen, here is rachel maddow and you don't look a day older than zero. >> thank you very much, keith. that's very nice of you. i have decided that now that we are starting our third year of this show we're really going to takd0the terrible 2 thing to heart and just going to try to be as terrible as possible all year long. >> well, wait. but you've completed two years. haven't you? >> yeah, but the whole terrible 2s for people who have turned 2, right? we're just going to be terrible. >> oh, all right. i wouldn't tell anybody in management about that. >> all right. i'm working on a new promo script. we'll see how that goes. >> bye. out. >> thank you, keith. >> olbermann out. it is indeed two years to the day since this show debuted and we are still on the tv machine which is both excellent and mainly thanks to you at home. so thank you. really, truly. for our second birthday today we did receive a really great gift from the universe. we got a tremendously busy news day. the president gave a big speech
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and picked his personal opponent for this election season. not everybody has that kind of luxury. sharron angle explained what she meant by second amendment remedies which it turns out was exactly what it seemed like she meant in the first place. and meghan mccain the free-spirited, outspoken daughter of republican presidential nominee john mccain, will be joining us live here in studio this hour. we arl very, very much looking forward to that on the interview tonight. it is all ahead. but we begin with what is known in american politics as a soft target. >> think about what happens if we don't pass this bill. thinking about what happens to your friends, your neighbors, your i ask all of you. what is in the best interest of our country?
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not what is in the best interest of our party, not what is in the best interest of our own re-election. what is in the best interest of our country? vote yes. >> that was the top republican in the house john boehner getting emotional, getting choked up while speaking on the house floor. keep that in mind as you watch this. the newly unveiled first campaign ad of the season from the national republican congressional committee is an ad that targets a democratic congressman named joe donnelly from indiana. it appears to be their template ad so you should watch what they're attacking the democrat here for. >> joe donnelly claims he is independent. but he's voted with nancy pelosç 88% of the time, for the obama/pelosi health care plan, the wall street bailout. >> the wall street bailout. okay. here is the problem right now if you're the republican party. here is the problem if you are the republican party trying to
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figure out the message that you are going to try to win on in november. if you want to run against the wall street bailout, first of all you have to run against the fact that almost all of the wall street bailout money has been paid back. second of all, we awkwardly still do have a financial system in america which at one point was not a foregone conclusion which is why we got the bailout in the first place. but most acutely in political terms if you want the republican party to run against the wall street bailout in this year's elections, how do you handle the fact that the wall street bailout was substantially a republican policy? it was put into place under republican president george w. bush and his treasury secretary hank paulson. it was given the seal of approval from republican presidential candidate john mccain. you will recall that he suspended his presidential campaign and rushed back to washington to make sure the bailout passed. mr. mccain's running mate sarah palin right there with him on the bailout. >> the bail out provisions and the measures that have already
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been taken, it is a time of crisis and government did have to step in playing an appropriate role. government did have to step in there. >> the national republican campaign committee which is now running ads against the bail out is headed by a man named republican congressman pete sessions of texas. pete sessions of texas cast a vote for the bail out back in 2008. as republicans try to cast themselves as the party ready to take over washington, to take the country back from the horrible democrats and horrible, horrible democratic policies like that horrible, horrible democratic bail out, here is the republican party's speaker in waiting as they keep calling him now, john boehner, a man who not only voted for the bail out but grew teary eyed on the floor of the house while beseeching his fellow republicans that they should vote for it, too. >> so i ask all of you, both sides of the aisle, what's in the best interests of our country? not what's in the best interests
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of our party, not what's in the best interests of our own re-election, what's in the best interests of our country? vote yes. >> vote yes. that's john boehe[ imploring republicans to vote for the bail out as republicans now try to campaign on how much they were against the bail out. this is not ancient history. this is not one of those unknown knowns. you can look this stuff up. it's in google news still. there's tape. john boehner crying over how much he wants the bail out is one giant awkwardness for republicans as they try to put together their message for this fall and they want it to be an antibail out message. it also explains why democrats at the start of the campaign season seem to have found a very, very clear point of focus for their democratic political message. >> mr. boehner and republicans in congress -- mr. boehner and his allies -- when mr. boehner was here in cleveland -- let me
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be clear to mr. boehner and everybody else -- mr. boehner dismissed these jobs we saved -- mr. boehner has so far said no to infrastructure. when these same republicans including mr. boehner were in charge -- there were no new policies for mr. boehner -- >> president obama today in cleveland, ohio delivering what was billed as a major speech on the economy and using that platform to call out john boehner by name over and over and over again. almost as if the two men were facing off against each other on the ballot in this year's elections. a few hours before president obama's speech today the chairman of the democratic party, tim kaine, expanded on the john boehner, john boehner, john boehner thing. >> mr. boehner led republican opposition to legislation important in pennsylvania and virginia and elsewhere that helps states in a tough time keep teachers, firefighters, and
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policemen on the job. this is the same john boehner who infamously handed out tobacco company campaign checks to republican members of congress on the floor of the house of representatives a couple years ago and plotted with the wall street lobbyists to block financial reform around the same time democratic party chairman tim kaine was blasting john boehner, john boehner, john boehner in philadelphia, democratic house speaker nancy pelosi's office was churning out this fact sheet on john boehner, john boehner, john boehner, and his policy proposals that they thought would add $4.2 trillion to the deficit. democrats know that history over all is against them for this year's elections.ç the president's party always loses seats in the first election of a new president's first term. democrats also know that the strongest wind blowing against them right now is that the economy is really bad and voters vote against the party in power when the economy is bad. so they know they have to talk about the economy. they know they have to campaign
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very aggressively, that the odds start out against them. so democrats are making the case that republicans are campaigning against policies that they supported. democrats are making the case that republicans say they're fiscally conservative but they want to give millions of dollars to the richest people in the country without paying for it, just loading it onto the deficit. if you are the democrats you can make all those policy points you want but in the campaign year what you really want is to have all of the bad things you want to say about the other party personified in one very easily caricatured opponent. >> to most of you, i'll bet this just seems like common sense. but not to mr. boehner and his allies. >> it is barack obama versus john boehner in 2010. we speculated this might be it before. now as of today democrats are leaving no ambiguity. this is their frame. barack obama versus john boehner. the beltway media says this is
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elevating john boehner. but democrats aren't promoting him. they're not changing his job title. they're just trying to make sure that this year, this campaign season john boehner is very, very, very famous. joining us now to assess the strategy is princeton university professor and msnbc contributor melissa harris-lacewell. great to see you. thanks for being here. >> absolutely. happy birthday. >> well, thank you. to the show, not to me. >> to the show. of course. >> we're so proud. why does it help politically to have a single politician personify the opposition party? obviously the president plays that role for the republicans but why are democrats picking one guy to be the republican number one? >> well, i mean, obviously the problem of the mid term election is exactly as you framed it here that it's clear who the bad guy is on the in party. it's the president. it's part of why the president's party typically loses seats in a mid term election.
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voters, you know, will vote for a new president hoping that all kinds of things will change. only some things change. so the way they can demonstrate their discontent presumably is by voting against the party of s the president. and, therefore, you know, they have this bad guy. they've got barack obama. but what does, you know, what do democrats have? well, they just have this amorphous gop or tea party or other guys and gals so they hope to be able to embody and personify but there is a danger here and of course the danger is if you run against boehner and boehner wins, i don't mean boehner personally but i mean the gop has a big win in november, then of course what you've done is in a certain way weaken your president. you've suggested that your president can be beaten by a potential speaker of the house and so it's a risky strategy to decide to kind of embody everything that they're against in this one person.
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>> melissa, you have talked a lot and i know done a lot of academic work on how economic stress leaves the electorate really vulnerable to political tactics that make us blame each other and divide us. is there a high road to take in a bad economy election or do you see both parties likely just seeking to out scapegoat or out blame the other guys? >> you know, it is tough because history tells us that we do a sort of ethnic balkanization, sort of pulling to our own kind and claiming that whoever is not like us must somehow be to blame for our economic downturn. if there is a high road at all, you know, interestingly, we saw a little bit of boehner trying to do it during the passage of the wall street bail out and we saw barack obama doing it toed. when president obama talked about his economic plan it was framed very similar to both how his 2008 speeches but even his
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2004 speech, sort of no red america, no blue america, there's only the united states of america. well, similarly today he said, really, all americans are in this boat together. again, strangely enough, this was similarly how boehner was suggesting republicans should be thinking about the wall street bail out in '08, that this was, in fact, a moment when people had to think of themselves as americans and think about the longer term strategy. so i think that there is only a high road to the extent that we're willing to think about our commonalityies. just one quick challenge there though. $(qr'g us able to villify migrant workers and undocumented workers of that sort of nasty nativism showing up. >> not to mention the kenyan president. >> not to mention. >> exactly. one last question on the specifics here. the president, himself, is planning to be very visible from all accounts, multiple campaign
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offense, the first planned press conference in a long while. is he still the democrats' best campaign asset or do democrats need somebody else out there who can throw sharper barbs than a sitting president is really allowed to? >> look, i love to see president obama out there. he loves giving the speeches. he is a great campaigner. we know that. but i have to say one of the reasons i was a big supporter of joe biden for the vice presidential position is because i always thought that biden could provide a real asset in a moment like this. look, don't get me wrong but joe biden has a sort of a reputation for being crazy joe and one of the best things about your crazy uncle at a family reunion is that he says the one completely honest thing that everybody is thinking, that none of the people with that actual filter will, in fact, say. so i'm a big fan of kind of deploying the crazy uncle joe strategy. send vice president biden out there. let him kind of get tough. let him say things that are somewhat outrageous. then let president obama do his
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typical strategy of reaching across the aisle and he'll look and say come on, joe. that may have gone too far. i'm a big fan of let's get crazy joe out there. >> the crazy uncle joe strategy, t.m., melissa harris-lacewell. i want the t-shirt franchise on that. princeton university professor, msnbc contributor, always a pleasure. thanks a lot. >> thanks. so the interview tonight is john mccain's excellently outspoken daughter meghan mccain. we last had her on the show a year and a half ago. that is still one of my favorite interviews i have ever done on the show. i am very excited to say she is live here in studio tonight, coming up. please stay with us.ys and i was wondering if i could say hi to the doctor. - is he in? - he's in copenhagen. - oh, well, that's nice. - but you can still see him. - you just said he was in-- - copenhagen. - come on. - that's pretty far. - doc, look who's in town. - ellen! - copenhagen? - cool, right? vacation. - but still seeing patients. ( whispers ) workaholic. - i heard that.
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♪ > at a breakfast today in washington, d.c. the republican governors association chairman quantified the republican party's michael steele problem. while mr. steele is beloved by everyone in cable news for obvious reasons, he is not particularly beloved by
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republican party donors. that is widely understood in political circles. before today we didn't really know exactly how much the republican party calculates it has cost them to keep mr. steele onboard as chairman. today he made it clear telling reporters, quote, we have to come up with about $10 million that normally would have been pushed into the governors races in various directions. mr. steele did not respond immediately to that accusation because naturally he is on a ç republican party funded trip to saipan. honestly. your donations to the republican national committee at work.
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what is over the line? what qualifies as an unacceptable position for a major party nominee to hold in this year's elections? what earns a reprimand from the party? what earns other politicians distancing themselves from a position that is too extreme? what's too extreme? this year a lot of positions that used to be politically over the line seem to be viable. positions like social security should be abolished. women should be forced to bear their rapist's babies. the civil rights act of 1964 was a bad idea. those positions, despite what they've been seen as in previous years, this year aren't necessarily seen as too controversial. but is there anything that is too far out there, too over the line? how about candidates saying if conservatives don't get what they want in this year's ç
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elections we should expect conservatives to use guns instead to get what they want? that was the position held by a nevada republican senate candidate named sharron angle who at the outset nobody expected to win. here she is explaining that position on conservative radio back in january. >> you know, if this congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those second amendment remedies. they're saying, my goodness, what can we do to turn this country around? i'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take harry reid out. >> here sharron angle is explaining that same concept some more that same month. >> the second amendment is the right to keep and bear arms for our citizenry. this is not for someone who's in the military. this is not for law enforcement. this is for us when our government becomes tyrannical. >> it might be right now. >> well, it's to defend ourselves and you know i'm hoping that we're not getting to second amendment remedies. i hope the vote will be the cure
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for the harry reid problems. >> but if the vote isn't the cure, if the vote doesn't work against the harry reid problems then there's the second amendment. there's guns. just to make sure it is super clear that sharron angle is in fact threatening that conservatives should be expected to use guns to get their way if they don't get the results they want from the next election, in may sharron angle told the "reno gazette-journal" quote, the nation is arming. what are they arming for if it isn't that they are so distrustful of their government? they're afraid they'll have to fight for their liberty in more second amendment kinds of ways. that's why i look at this as almost an imperative. if we don't win at the ballot box, what will be the next step? what will be the next step? if conservatives don't get what they want in the election? sharron angle is warning that it will be conservatives using guns to try to get their way. this is not the hyperbole. there is no further context to these remarks. she keeps volunteering this
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quote over and over again. this is what she's been saying. all of those comments were made before sharron angle became nevada's official republican nominee for the united states senate. since becoming the nominee the republican party has been trying to give her a moderation makeover, redesigning her website, telling her to challenge the context in which some of her stated positions are being quoted back to her by reporters but now despite all of that she is still making the case that america should expect conservatives to use guns, to ç use weapons to try to get what they want if they don't get what they want from the election results. today in a remarkable abc news interview, sharron angle was given one more chance to recant or at least soften that position and what did she do? she did challenge the interviewer saying she is being taken out of context but she then proceeded to reiterate her original position. once again, articulating the belief that we should expect conservatives to get their guns. if they aren't satisfied with this year's elections. >> we were discussing once again
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in a context of the second amendment we were having a discussion about the founding fathers and why they had put that second amendment into the bill of rights. and they felt that there were times when governments became tyrannical that we needed to have a place for the people to be able to secure the blessings of liberty, which is what they did in the revolutionary war as you know. and that was why they put the second amendment into the constitution. and that was what we were speaking of on that program, was the whole second amendment and why it was there. >> and of course jefferson said the tree of liberty needs to be fed with the blood of tyrants or patriots from time to time. can you foresee us get noog a situation where there is such
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ainge inner this country that we are in a revolutionary situation again? >> i think the conclusion of that discussion i said i hope not. >> but do you think it's possible? i mean, hoping -- >> well of course anything is possible i suppose. you know. >> the national republican senatorial committee, the national republican committee are funding this campaign where the candidate says expect conservatives to try to use the second amendment, try to use guns to get what they want if they lose the election. given the opportunity to recant that now that she is the republican party's official nominee for senate, the candidate has essentially just reiterated it and laughed. is this considered a main stream position now? everybody down with this idea? are you guys okay with this? if this is now a main stream ç position that we should expect political, armed political violence in this country if conservatives don't get what they want in the next election, this is a main stream position, what counts as over the line now?
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no matter how cookie cutter many politicians might seem these days, no matter how generic, how you've seen one you've seen them all they might seem the problem with lumping all of them together like that is no one actually votes for a generic candidate. you vote for a real person. you vote for an actual candidate. when a polling organization like gallup asks in its weekly tracking poll whether voters prefer a generic, democratic candidate for congress or a generic republican candidate in
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this year's elections and we report as we did last week that they prefer the generic republican by ten points, a big, big margin, look. it's right there. that is interesting. that is the kind of thing that drives incessant political chatter. but its usefulness as a predictor of what will happen in the elections is easily over stated as demonstrated by the fact that just one week after that gallup poll that survey last week showed a ten-point gap and now shows the generic candidates suddenly tied. within days the republicans' perceived lead magically evaporated or not.ç maybe it had something to do with the completely hypothetical question. maybe last week's numbers were a statistical anomaly or maybe registered voters were surveyed instead of likely voters, people more likely to show up and vote. here is another poll from gallup that takes a more useful snap shot of american politics right now. this graph measures enthusiasm about voting. why is that important? because the people who say they are excited about voting are people who again are probably
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more likely to go to the trouble of actually voting on election day. in the past week there's been no change in this one, no change in the advantage that republicans hold over democrats when it comes to how excited, how likely to actually show up on election day their members really are. there's a whopping 25-point gap in stated voter enthusiasm. enthusiasm that has also been measured another way. without all of the hypotheticals and the speculation. researchers at american university counted the number of people who voted in the primaries that have been held so far this year and found 4 million more republicans have turned out than democrats. 4 million more. they counted. understanding what's going to happen in the elections and why means disserng among all the data out there which data, which numbers are most predictive of what is going to happen on election day. a poll that tells you how a fictional does not exist republican might do against a fictional does not exist democrat? it's probably not all that
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predictive. a survey that tries to measure how voters might feel eight weeks from now, that is only slightly less hypothetical. but the actual observed number of people who have voted this year, the number of republicans compared with the actual observed number of democrats who have voted this year, that's actually a real number. a 4 million vote turnout deficit in the primaries is a very bad news metric for democrats. but it's also a good number in the sense that it is a solid, measurable, not hypothetical, not chatter based bad news metric. it's real. they count it. now democrats, if you have succeeded anything norg the pointless metrics and paying attention to the real ones the question is how are you going to turn that real and really worrying for democrats number around? what's your plan for turning out your base for example?
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okay. here is the scene. election day, 2008. john mccain told his family in the afternoon that the campaign already understood that they
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would be losing the election that evening. but election night had to roll out. the results had to be understood. the senator mccain would have to give his concession. here is how his daughter meghan saw it from the stage that night. at the biltmore hotel in phoenix. this is from her new book "dirty, sexy politics." i don't really remember walking off the stage. emotion can be like a drug and wipe everything out of your head. but i do remember being backstage and seeing sarah palin's mother crying hysterically, wailing and making loud sobbing sounds and hugging little piper. it was hard to witness. all the other pailins had their game faces on. they knew what their job was but sarah's mother couldn't do it. then for some weird reason sarah stepped back onstage by herself. she was waving to the crowd saying hi to the cameras almost as though she were in alaska not arizona. what was she doing? i was shocked. it was as if she wanted to make the night about her and not my dad. she was trying to have the last wortd and the last wave. what else did she want or need? what was driving her to do this? possibly it was unconscious this
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dramatic bit of upstaging and she couldn't see how it could look to us or anybody else. she was supposed to leave the stage but she couldn't go along with the plans even then. even on the last night and just follow my dad and the rest of us back to the hotel. she didn't have a go along side to her. and i saw something i hadn't really wanted to see before. losing wasn't an end for her. it was a beginning. as for me, i was perfectly ready to say good-bye. good-bye to the campaign, good-bye to politics, soon it would all be behind me. i told myself my dad will never run for president again. i will never have to go through this again. joining us now for the interview is the author of "dirty, sexy politics." her campaign memoir, meghan mccain. thank you so much for being here. >> thank you for having me again. >> good-bye to politics? really? >> that moment, when this is really a story and the story of my two years on the campaign. >> yeah. >> and i was unbelievably sad and very depressed afterward and i thought, everything i believed in and worked for two years, really diminished and had this ç very, very sad, tragic, very
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greek ending and i actually say later on i felt like i was at a funeral. and i didn't understand it at the time. you really have to go back to obama-mania and before sarah was who she is now and i was just confused. >> yeah. >> and i was very honest and candid in this book because i wanted to be. you know? go big or go home. you might as well tell the truth. i mean, it was sad and it was very hard. >> but in that same, at that same time you're also sort of falling in love with politics. you're talking about seeing the people. >> yes. >> who are there to see your dad's concession, look at how much people love my dad and love politics and love this country. this counted for something. this counted for everything. there was so much love all around and spirit and faith and i saw that i was lucky to be john mccain's daughter and to have been part of this. so at the moment you're saying good-bye to all this. >> i know. >> forget politics. you're also sort of falling in love with politics story of my life. yes. i didn't study this in college. i did fall in love with the process. i mean, i don't think you can go into the primaries in new hampshire and iowa and ohio and
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not fall in love with people in the process of politics which is why i'm still idealistic. but it was sad at the same time. it broke my heart worse than any man ever has. it was just hard. but beautiful at the same time and late other than i got motivated. it took me two months of just staying in my pajamas and eating a bunch of chocolate. playing nothing but rock band and then i just decided i was going to be the leader i didn't have and i feel like i have ever since sort of. >> on that issue of being a political leader the book sort of starts there and it goes back to it after you tell your personal story in between. and you're sort of making this plea in the book. it's the same one you've made over the past couple years. the last time you talked a year and a half ago, what you've done at the daily beast which is really pleading for -- >> for the record the interview on your show a year and a half ago was a turning point because a lot of people were shocked that i came thon show and i still get feedback from it though it was a while ago and they're like i can't believe you wog on. it's like we can't just have republicans going on fox and
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democrats going on msnbc and i really still get comments about it which is why i wanted to come back on again. >> thank you. i appreciate it. i know you have infinite choice as to where you're going to talk about the book so thank you. but what we talked about a year and a half ago and what you wrote about the daily beast and you talk about in the book is this sort of plea for it to be okay for republicans not only tç cross lines and come talk with liberals and stuff like this but also for it to be okay for republicans to be moderates. >> yes. >> the party does not seem to be taking your advice on that this year. >> right now i don't think it is. i have friends, they bet what is going to happen. is this election year the turning point? when will people see on a very organic level if you make the party smaller you have less voters. where do you go from there? i know what it feels like to be alienated. i talk very kanld idiosyncrasy -- candidly about how i felt alienated on the campaign. we're so polarized and it's us versus them and i think it is a very scary place and that's why
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i continue to do what i do. >> you love the republican party. >> i really do. i believe in the core ideals. i think that like so many things politics is cyclical. in the '90s there was this resurgence of extreme conservativism. i hope it will come back around. we'll see. it depends on who we nominate in 2012. >> do you feel like you have any allies making the same case you are now about the need for it to be okay to be a moderate republican? >> i do. i think senator lieberman and senator lindsay graham are great advocates as well. they take their heat though. you know? >> right. >> people take their shots at them. i certainly -- >> though lieberman isn't a republican. >> he is an independent technically yes but he endorsed my father and campaigned so i consider him sort of on my side and it doesn't bother me, independent, like republican, you know, if you want to be a conservative leaning liberal and it's no secret how socially liberal i am and i think the world is very gray and putting it in black and white scares me. >> can you stick around for a moment while we go to commercial. >> of course. thank you. >> our guest is meghan mccain.
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her new memoir is just out called "dirty, sexy politics" and involves possibly the only story ever of the daughter of a politician being kicked off the campaign at one point. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] at triscuit,
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on the last day of the last presidential campaign at one point candidate john mccain's daughter ended up on a campaign plane with a blanket thrown over her head from the cameras. it is an incident she later thanked the press for not covering. our interview continues right after this.
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you said in the ann coulter column she cob the poster woman for the most extreme side of the republican party and in some ways i could be the poster woman for the opposite. what is the opposite. >> the opposite is the more moderate republicans, the republicans that think where we've gone wrong is being so extreme in our attitudes and i think inadvertently and maybe on purpose with these columns i started speaking out and i guess i'm the only one speaking out this publicly so that's why people are saying i am the new poster child for the moderate side of the republican party. >> joining us again is someone i have wanted to interview about ten times since we last spoke last spring. the gods of publicity wouldn't let us until now but she is john
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mccain's daughter famous for her daily beast column after the campaign. she just published "dirty, sexy politics" her campaign memoir. do you still feel you are alone as the poster child for moderate republicans. >> i feel as a public figure i sort of am for the younger generation. there is a lot of animosity that i get but i had to make the choice i would live like this. i live with people screaming at me at airports and you just make the choice it's going to be part of your life. it affects everyone. it affects my friends. i believe in what i'm doing. ç >> let me ask you about one issue about you which you are very passionate about and that's gay rights. >> yes. >> on the issue of -- >> that is one reason why i've been so polarizing. >> because conservatives are not pro gay rights are upset with you for being vocal about it. >> yes. it seems to be just sort of -- i wrote a column a while ago is it better to make a sex tape with a carrie prejean instance or be for gay marriage? it is an interesting choice. a lot of people supported carrie prejean though she made in my
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pan very bad decision and a lot of people chose her over me in that instance. it is interesting. >> on the issue of don't ask don't tell, you're obviously a big champion of your father's career. your father has in the past year really emerged in a way that has surprised me even as probably the republican party's most vociferous proponent of keeping don't ask don't tell in place. i know you disagree with him on that. do you guys talk about it? >> we do to a degree. we had to come to a sort of come to jesus moment that we agree to disagree. me and my mother both -- i don't know why it is so shocking you can believe in small government, conservative beliefs, but think that your gay friends have the right to get married. for me it's just a civil rights issue. i believe in freedom on a very basic level and i think that you can't live in a country and claim it to be free if i have different rights than do you. on a personal level i write candidly in the book about my gay friends that were really there for me when a lot of people weren't and i want to go to their wedding some day just
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like i want them to come to mine. >> is your dad worried you're becoming outspoken on that in a way that calls into question his own beliefs and activism? >> i think the media might like to paint it that way. i think it's generational. i've been very disappointed with president obama. he is 49 which is significantly younger than my father. i don't understand why the media don't put pressure on him. >> on gay marriage? >> and don't ask don't tell. for me it's a national security issue. i have two brothers in the military and it's making them less safe when you throw out arabic translators because they're gay. >> i would love to hear you talk to your dad about it. i think it is possible don't ask don't tell would be gone right now if your dad was in favor of getting rid of it because he is so influential on these issues but i understand that probably isn't something fun over thanksgiving. >> my life is complicated rightç now. it just is because i have been so vocal and it's something i really believe in.
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it's difficult but he respects me and we have an open dialogue and i think the fact that i'm here and wrote this book shows he supports me. >> let me ask you about on this issue the sort of big tent in civil rights, one of the things we were talking about on the show before starting this interview tonight was how positions that used to be like really out there sort of this year are not so out there. rand paul did an interview with me this year. >> yes, i know. i think the world knows, rachel. yes. got a little publicity. i think everyone in the world saw that interview with rand paul. >> the reason that it got so much attention is because he said essentially that the 1964 civil rights act was a bad idea. that businesses should be allowed to discriminate if they want to. >> i know. >> put us back into jim crow era. and you write about barry goldwater as a hero of yours in this book. >> yes. >> obviously from your home state of arizona. barry goldwater had the same position on the 1964 civil rights act and it is probably why the only states he won outside of arizona in 1964 were
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in the super deep south. does that history trouble you about the conservative movement? >> yeah, of course. i mean, i think the rand paul interview for me was an example of why libertarianism is logical in a classroom not necessarily applicable in real life. and barry goldwater. i am from arizona, i just moved back, i drive down goldwater avenue all the time. later in his career he was for don't ask, don't tell and quite liberated in a lot of ways. when i was growing up that is what i read. i disagree with him. he has his moments that i disagree with like every other politician. >> what happens next for you? you have strong feelings about the republican party and where it is going. you don't have a lot of friends in the party in terms of your belief in which direction the party should go.
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do you want to step aside? do you want to stay in the fight? >> i want to stay in the fight. there is cpac every year. i would love to do a more moderate republican meeting. it is like the island of misfit toys. i go and people are scared to talk to me this way. when you are out this way you get eviscerated by blogs and reporters. i would love to create a websitç that would organize it better because i'm so not alone. >> moderate republicans are getting the one identifiable mainstream trend is moderate republicans are getting voted out so people will be available to come to your meeting. >> hopefully. maybe it will be in my apartment, but i will have it. i don't know. >> megan mccain, author of "dirty, sexy politics." congratulations. >> congratulations on your two-year anniversary.
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coming up on "countdown," christians and muslims side by side. a pastor and an islamic center being built next to a church discuss religious freedom. on this show, a certain level of dirty trickiness is expected in politics. some underhanded business is unavoidable. what has just happened in one virginia congressional race is beyond dirty tricks, it is even beyond politics. please stay with us. running there? dancing there? flying there? how about eating soup to get there? delicious campbell's soups fill you with good nutrition, energy, farm-grown ingredients, and can help you keep a healthy weight. helping you get to a happier place. have a nice trip. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
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to tactics that do not meet the standard for being called politics.ç a year ago an astroturf group sent him letters pretending to be a hispanic group of virginia and state chapters of the naacp. the letters urged perriello to vote against climate change legislation. the letters were fake. tea party groups camped out mr. perriello's virginia office, one of them threatening to burn him in effigy. after tom perriello voted for president obama's health reform bill a tea party posted online his home address, it turned out to be the home of his brother, someone cut the gas line running
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from the propane tank at his home. he received a threatening letter sent to the address that was posted online as the congressman's address. last night a regional press secretary in washington, nrcc headquarters decided that what happened in virginia's fifth district isn't enough. the man tweeted, he posted online the home addresses of several staffers who work for tom perriello's campaign. the huffington post counted six addresses posted on this national republican party staffer's twitter account. the explanation from republican headquarters was to blame the perriello campaign saying they deserved it because perriello's
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campaign called a staffer from his republican opponent's campaign a carpet bagger. you can make your point about whose staffer lives whereby listing their names and hometowns. you don't have to include their addresses. we did it here. one of the tweets at the national republican committee say they stand by, they are fine with. we were the first to notice the press aide posted the addresses started deleting them after what he did got press coverage. by 3:20 the last of the the ç addresses were gone. his page sate@voteperriello, you're pathetic. you can't see the tweets with the addresses because they have been deleted. the national republican press aide who posted those personal addresses last night circled
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back and took them down very quietly. we called his bosses for comment. they gave us the same statement they made before the tweets were deleted down the memory hole. tom perriello is lashing out after polls show him trailing in the race. "we are surprised that tom perriello has reduced himself to attacking staff. his frustration is understandable but unbecoming of a member of congress. unbecoming? calling someone a carpet bagger, sure, doesn't get you invited to thanksgiving dinner but putting a target on political staff, posting their full home addresses and saying they deserved it and erasing what you did, delete, delete, delete, and standing by it anyway. that is not only unbecoming but almost unbelievable. we have been wondering what counts as too far. this kind of thi